Before that I took interest in "entrepreneurship" books (I actually hated the term) and my dad liked the idea of working for yourself. Of course it's not that simple, and I have enjoyed working for other people too. In the past I wanted to run a restaurant/cafe, I have seen a lot of people baking their own cakes, cupcakes, and stuff and I thought, "Wow that's interesting, I want to do that too."
The food either:
a) tastes amazing, and the business runs well, or b) is a disappointment.
I don't feel like I have enough passion in food to compete with those people whose products fall in category (a), although I can always learn. And I definitely don't want to make something half-baked and fall into category (b).
So I thought, why not do something I have genuine interests in and turn it into a business?
But I noticed that it's nice how some people would boil down their wardrobe into necessities:
- A perfect black bag,
- one perfect pair of ankle boots,
- perfectly cut jeans,
- a cozy cashmere sweater, etc.
When it comes to must-haves I really encourage personal takes, what is important to you should not be the same as what is important to me, although it does not mean they cannot overlap.
I have tried imagining my life without these, and did not like the idea of it (i.e. living my life without these):
- My transparent biker jacket--it elevates things that I wear and is surprisingly as neutral as a black leather jacket gets.
- Black underground creepers--these are tough boys.
- Cheap Monday lace up jeans.
- Antipodium cork shoes.
- Opening Ceremony crocodile-like blue pants--these are intelligent. It's mainly thread and not leather, but shiny and proper. I can imagine occasions these pants could go to. The next day I got these, I stepped into a souvenir shop and the cashier noticed the pants from a distance immediately.
- Unif middle finger psychedelic t-shirt. Pretty much how I feel on some days. It also lived up to their "buttery soft" claim.
- I've been kinda into chokers for a while. Black velvet with a sun pendant.
- Uniqlo basic men's tee in dark marl grey. A bang for less than ten dollars.
- Quay The Bat sunglasses in white. Since when did comical look this good?
Often it's the people that make or break a place though. I got really good vibes emanating from the people in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles that made even grocery shopping very very enjoyable.
My hair got complimented 10x a day, a girl/guy would walk by and say, "Nice tights!" or shout, "Morning, gorgeous!" If you're not used to it, you would be most likely taken aback and think , "What was that? Was she talking to me?"
It all happened so fast.
A lot of my friends were afraid when we had to venture down the ghetto area at night but I liked it. If you mean well and don't look fearful you might be in for an amazing ride, but of course I won't recommend this to everyone and at every place.
I liked strangers, a lot. It's got me into some troubles but 99% of the time it was a good decision to come up and begin with a simple "How are you?" or reciprocate to people who do so.
Also, you get to wear shades which are not a very common sight in Singapore.
Other than that, I want to go to Iceland. Jogjakarta was pretty awesome too, and I have only been to Bali once.
I am trying to be a light traveler, I'm doing alright at it. My girl friends were looking at my make up pouch and said, "Wow. So basic."
I think it was an achievement.
I try not to bring a lot of clothing too. I can wear the same t-shirt for a few days (not in a row) if the weather permits. I don't bring my dslr with me anymore when traveling because everyone is a photographer nowadays.
I would bring a small camera to record videos, it's more personal. Forgetting your earphones can be a good idea (less distraction) or a bad idea; but just like insurance, to have it and not need it is better than to need it and not have it.
I like my solid perfume (Do Son by Diptyque) for some touch-ups; it's compact in size, pleasant and not empowering scent-wise.
Vapid, unimportant, excessive, subjective, obnoxious, etc.
Many people defend fashion by saying, "The first question that you think about in the morning is: 'What am I gonna wear today?'" But that doesn't answer why you decide to pull out an all black look to school instead of a funeral or why you would carry a perfume bottle clutch that could barely fit your wallet and your phone.
To me, it just is. I've stopped trying to justify my excitement.
People here ask, "Why is your hair green?" Because I want it to be green.
I want what I am wearing today to be what I want to wear today. I am fascinated by fashion just like how you are fascinated by food/feminism/cars/whatever your interests are. It's like, okay you could survive by eating the same food everyday, but do you want that? And it's perfectly okay if you want it to be that way too.
Of course, everybody would want sales but if you want to expand it is not enough. So patience is one of the hardest struggles: I cannot give in to the thought of "Oh no! The number of sales is not improving, I'm failing!" because it's just part of the development. I am new to retail business so it can be scary and exciting simultaneously.
Luckily, I have a pretty solid team behind Popdropshop--we've worked together for almost three months but we've never seen one another in real life. It sounds pretty postmodern but some other people have definitely done it too. It takes a lot of trust but we've made it work so far. They have new things to bring up to the table, which is exactly what I wanted.
We try to be open about a lot of things, and I need to make sure that they love the work and encourage them to give suggestions. I believe that when you put in positive emotions and truly love your 'job' (quotation marks because it does not feel like a job when you enjoy it), it really shows in your work.
My mom has been a tremendous help too--she's particular about petty things that matter, like packing and shipping. Sometimes she cares about customer relations too. We are on the same page when it comes to anality, I am however more anal on subtler things like the 'signature' look of our photographs, choices of words that we use to convey a message, our curations, etc. Sometimes we argue about these trivial things but at the end of the day we agree in silence that we make a pretty damn sweet team.
- Curating catalogues,
- conducting some shoots,
- doing administration for Popdropshop,
- getting stuff for the shop from around Singapore when needed,
- packing for the weekly shipment.
Although e-commerce market may not be as mature in Indonesia, we are definitely looking into building a "proper" website that allows customers to place orders on their own with live chat feature or at least room for responsive customer service. Tapping into mobile market is important too, I mean that's what our business has been thriving on as well. In the (very) long run, a physical store seems very very desirable. In the (very) short term, I'm looking into making the whole process more systematic, at least.
For me personally, I want to resume writing. Reading has been on a halt too and it's bad news for me.
For example, I liked Gary Shteyngart's book but I do not know whether I would gain anything from meeting him; or I really liked Breaking Bad but the series has come to an end, Bryan Cranston was brilliant and that's that.
I would rather meet friends or strangers who I could have healthy discussions with; I could draw some knowledge and good energy from that. I don't mean that these people with great works would be terrible people to talk to, I just feel like the good works might "get in the way" of our interaction. "Hey! I've read your book and it has shaped my life!" It's nice, but where does it go from there? Awkward.
There is like a burden, I think, in knowing so much about that person or that person's works--and that person not knowing anything at all about you. Again, that does not mean that an interesting interaction might never ensue afterward. I'm just not actively seeking into it. Although a little selfie with that person won't hurt.